Manmohan Singh set to equal Vajpayee's record | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Manmohan Singh set to equal Vajpayee's record

delhi Updated: May 16, 2009 10:42 IST

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If Atal Bihari Vajpayee can do, Manmohan Singh too can!

Singh, 76, is set to even Vajpayee's feat of becoming Prime Minister for two consecutive terms with the Congress-led UPA emerging ahead in early trends.

The alliance was projected to get 242-250 seats, just 20-30 short of majority in the lower house of Parliament.

In 1999, Vajpayee made a spectacular return to power, becoming the first leader to do so since the 1970s.

As counting of votes polled in Lok Sabha elections progressed, the answer was increasingly becoming clear that Singh, who in 2004 was unexpectedly named Prime Minister, was all set to reprise the role.

The 76-year-old leader is the first person to be projected as PM candidate by the Congress which has lorded over the affairs of the country for 50 years of the six decades that India has been independent.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi and party General Secretary Rahul Gandhi had thrown their weight behind his candidature and have often declared that the issue is "non-negotiable".

If Singh becomes the Prime Minister again, he will also be the first Congress Prime Minister outside the Gandhi-Nehru family to do so and that too while heading a coalition government.